Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Warm weather plus cool events equals stormy interstate travel on I-5 in Clark County

by guest blogger Heidi Sause

I know I’m not the only person in Southwest Washington who longs for warm weather. When the weather forecast displays five little yellow suns lined up in a row, I want to throw my hands in the air, skip around like a fool and call out: “jackpot!” 

Maybe not everyone expresses warm-weather enthusiasm with the same dramatics that I do, but I’ve noticed that local outdoor venues in Vancouver take advantage of the sunny season and fill their summer schedules with concerts and events. Every year popular acts come to town. Every year people buy tickets and pour into the amphitheater and flock to the fairgrounds. And every year, traffic slows to a crawl.

Why? Because big-name acts and events bring large groups of people together. But when the thousands of concert-goers and fair-attendees pour onto the same highways all at once, they often wind up parked on a jam-packed interstate with the AC cranked instead of enjoying themselves at their destinations.

Two of our top priorities are to keep people safe and moving on our state highways. Each season presents unique challenges to these priorities, and the summer season is no exception. As a driver, one way you can protect your speedometer and keep the little red needle off of “0” is to know before you go. We say it often, because knowledge and preemptive planning are the best ways to avoid traffic delays.

We keep the travel alerts page updated 24-7 with current information on highway conditions, and you can always dial 5-1-1 to hear up-to-date traffic reports. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the events planned for your local area. Whether you’re headed to the Clark County Fair, going out to see the Lilith Fair girls or getting ready to rock with Crosby, Stills and Nash – remember that traffic congestion increases when large events take place and plan for a longer drive or take alternate routes when possible.

And while you’re at it - don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Upcoming events at the Sleep Country Amphitheater and Fairgrounds in Clark County:
June 11:  Crosby, Stills and Nash concert event – Sleep Country Amphitheater
July 2:  Lilith Fair concert event – Sleep Country Amphitheater
July 23:  Toby Keith concert event – Sleep Country Amphitheater
August 6 – 15:  Clark County Fair – Clark County Fairgrounds

Event Locations:
Sleep Country Amphitheater
17200 Northeast Delfel Road
Ridgefield, WA - (360) 816-7000

Clark County Fairgrounds and Event Center
17402 Northeast Delfel Road
Ridgefield, WA - (360) 397-6180